BBC One Daytime today announces the line-up of a stellar British cast for a brand new five-part period drama – Land Girls – part of a season of programmes marking the 70th anniversary of World War Two.
Created by Roland Moore, Land Girls follows the lives and loves of four girls away from home, doing their bit for Britain in the Women’s Land Army (WLA).
As they adapt to their new surroundings, and knuckle down to some hard work and play, they realise very quickly that their lives will never be the same again.
Actors include Nathaniel Parker (The Inspector Lynley Mysteries, Bleak House), Christine Bottomley (Hope Springs, Massive, Early Doors), Sophie Ward (Holby City), Summer Strallen (Hollyoaks), Mark Benton (The Street), Danny Webb (Our Friends In The North), Jo Woodcock (Tess Of The D’Urbervilles, All The Small Things) and Becci Gemmell.
Against the backdrop of war-weary Forties Britain, Land Girls is set on the Hoxley estate, as the girls balance their working lives at the run-down Pasture Farm, and the opulent Hoxley Manor.
Nancy, Joyce, Bea, and Annie have all joined the WLA for very different reasons, but they all have one common goal, to serve their country and help win the war.
The drama follows the women as they try to live out their lives in very challenging circumstances, with lots of laughter and tears along the way.
Liam Keelan, Controller, BBC Daytime, says: “”Land Girls is a warm and vibrant drama celebrating the unsung heroes from the Second World War, and we’re delighted to have secured this talented cast to realise the story.”
He adds: “The announcement of this drama comes after the recent success of Moving On and Missing, and the continuing success of Doctors. Land Girls is being made by the same team that makes Doctors, and is BBC Daytime’s first commission of a period drama.”
Annie, played by Christine Bottomley, is the oldest in her family, and has always been the responsible one. The other girls naturally turn to her as the try to survive the day to day trials and tribulations of the WLA.
Annie feels as though she herself has no one to turn to and quietly tries to deal with her own personal problems from which she feels she has no escape.
Summer Strallen plays Nancy, a cosseted rich girl conscripted into the WLA against her will, who desperately misses her family home comforts, and would much rather be out having fun.
Jo Woodcock plays Bea, Annie’s little sister. Bea has lied about her age to sign up for the land girls and join her big sister on her adventure. Unfortunately her innocence will land her in hot water.
Becci Gemmell is Joyce, a happily married woman who is fiercely patriotic and eternally optimistic, but Joyce knows the true cost of war as she has already lost her family in a bombing and she’s terrified of losing her husband as he’s just about to finish his RAF training and be posted on his first mission.
Sophie Ward plays Lady Ellen Hoxley, the Lady of the Manor. She busies herself organising the girls and trying to rally funds for the war, as she maintains the façade of a happy marriage.The arrival of one particular land girl will change her life forever.
Lord Lawrence Hoxley, played by Nathaniel Parker, is a celebrated hero from the First World War, with a dark secret of his own. Totally trapped in his role as Lord of the Manor, he finds that life can be unpredictable in war time.
Land Girls, is a five-part (5 x 45-minutes) in-house drama production for BBC Daytime, commissioned by Liam Keelan.
Executive producers are Will Trotter and John Yorke, the producer is Erika Hossington.
The drama series is currently in production, filming in and around Birmingham, and will be screened in September this year on BBC One and BBC HD.